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Nelumbo luteaYellow Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) Info
In magick, the lotus is generally associated with goddesses of beauty and prosperity, such as Lakshmi. This flower is also connected to resurrection or reincarnation because of the way its seeds can lie dormant for centuries and then grow into a plant in the right conditions. The ancient Egyptians believed that the world arose from a lotus that grew from the belly of Nu.   In the East, the lotus symbolizes spiritual enlightenment, fertility, and sexuality.  In West European magick, the lotus is involved in consecration and sex magick, and the flowers are associated with nymphs.  The Dakota describe how a Star Maiden came down from the stars and wanted to live with them. The chief, Red Strawberry Man, sent the maiden and his son across the lake to consult with the tribal advisor about this. Their canoe hit a log, and the Star Maiden fell into the water. In the morning, the first yellow lotus was growing on that spot. There is something almost Mercurial in the way the yellow lotus can help make connections between water (lake) and air (sky) magick or between earth (the muck it grows from) and fire (the stars the flower is seen to represent). However, this magick herb is usually considered a Venus plant. Top

Other Uses. This plant is also good to eat. Native Americans ate the seeds, which taste like chestnuts. They harvested the roots in fall, and after steeping them in water to remove bitterness, roasted them; they taste like sweet potatoes and are easily peeled, sliced, dried, and stored, making them an excellent winter food. Seeds can be popped. Pioneers ate the unfurled leaves and flower buds. Petals can be added to salads. Top

Nelumbo sepiaThe Plant. The round leaves are 6-10 inches across. The first leaves will float on the water, but the true leaves will be held above the water in a sort of funnel shape. The yellow to cream-colored flowers, which are 4-8 inches wide and smell like apples, open in the morning and close in the afternoon. They appear July-September. This plant gets 2 ft high and 1 ft wide. The seeds can remain viable for decades, but the plant usually spreads by rhizomes once it is established (it can spread as much as 60 ft a year). If it doesn't get enough heat and light, the leaves will be droopy and yellow and there will be no flowers. Although this plant is protected in the northern parts of the country, in the south it is considered a weed, and while living in Florida, I often saw it growing in drainage ditches. It likes shallow, still water like ponds and lake margins. Because it isn't that big, you can try growing it in a water container. This is the only native North American lotus. It is also known as Yellow Pond Lily, Water Chinquapin, and American Lotus. Top

Nelumbo lutea seedpodHow to grow Yellow Lotus: Nick seed across its center and soak in warm water (you can use a thermos), changing the water for fresh warm water twice a day until it shows germination, which should be in 3-4 weeks at 77F/25C. Plant in pots just barely covered with water and increase depth as the plant grows. This magick herb likes full sun and rich soil in water up to 20 in/.6 m deep, although it can grow in water up to to 6 ft/1.8 m deep. It is hardy in zones 4-10 and will grow as far north as Ontario and as far south as south Florida. When moving rhizomes (in spring), be careful not to damage the growing tip, and don't let the crown freeze solid. Cut the plant off at the soil line after the first frost and then either store at the very bottom of your pond or in its pot in a dark, cool location (garage, basement) where it can be kept moist and not freeze. Put the pot back in the pond in the spring when water temps are in the fifties F. If it has already started growing, put it in the pond only after water temps are in the 70s F. This plant likes lots of fertilizer. General growing info. Top  

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Fertility Charms
Sex Magick
Venus Herb

2004, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission